In the western American state of Colorado and Fertitta Entertainment Incorporated has reportedly signed a deal that is to see it pay approximately $43 million in order to acquire the Wildwood Hotel and Casino.
According to a Monday report from The Gazette newspaper, the Houston-headquartered parent of land-based casino firm Landry’s Incorporated and iGaming operator Golden Nugget Online Gaming Incorporated signed the purchase arrangement in November as part of an ill-fated plan to go public. Although this envisioned float has since been abandoned, the firm nevertheless purportedly intends to continue with its strategy of buying the four-story Cripple Creek venue currently owned by American Gaming Group LLC.
Fertitta Entertainment Incorporated is controlled by billionaire restaurant mogul Tilman Fertitta (pictured) and is now purportedly hoping to complete its acquisition of the Wildwood Hotel and Casino by the end of the September. However, the newspaper reported that any such deal will be contingent on approval from the five-member Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission and the company’s subsequent securance of a local gambling license.
Marketed as ‘the highest casino in the world’ due to its location at some 9,593 feet above sea level, the Wildwood Hotel and Casino is reportedly the largest gambling venue in Cripple Creek owing to its selection of 528 slots as well as twelve gaming tables offering blackjack, poker, baccarat and roulette entertainment. Saratoga Harness Racing Incorporated, which is already responsible for the nearby Saratoga Casino Black Hawk enterprise, purportedly inked an arrangement to buy the project in March of 2020 but pulled out only two months later owing to financial uncertainties associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
Gerry Del Prete, Gaming Chief Operating Officer for Fertitta Entertainment Incorporated, reportedly told The Gazette that his company intends rebrand the Wildwood Hotel and Casino under its Golden Nugget tag and retain any of the property’s 300 employees ‘that want to stay’. He moreover purportedly disclosed that customers will be permitted to redeem any loyalty points earned before the venue changed hands.
Del Prete reportedly told the newspaper…
“We’ve always had an attraction for Colorado; we’ve owned the aquarium in Denver and restaurants across the state for a long time. We have looked as the market has evolved over the years and the changes going on in the market have made it more attractive. We looked at Cripple Creek and saw opportunity there.”
The Gazette reported that American Gaming Group LLC has owned the Wildwood Hotel and Casino ever since the property opened in 2008. The local firm then purportedly spent in the region of $14 million so as to bring a 101-room hotel to the Teller County enterprise from last June.
Fertitta Entertainment Incorporated is already reportedly responsible for Golden Nugget-branded casinos in the American states of Nevada, New Jersey, Louisiana and Mississippi alongside a chain of more than 600 restaurants operating under the Joe’s Crab Shack, Rainforest Cafe, Chart House, Saltgrass Steak House, Houlihan’s and Bubba Gump Shrimp names. For his part and 64-year-old Fertitta purportedly has an estimated personal fortune north of $6 billion while furthermore owning the Houston Rockets franchise of the National Basketball Association (NBA).